One of the most enjoyable things to do during the summer months for so many Manitobans is heading to Shaw Park to watch the Winnipeg Goldeyes play in the American Association.
The only Canadian team in the league, Shaw Park can welcome nearly 9,000 fans to each one of its home games, which is 50 in a normal 100 game regular season. In 2020, the Goldeyes weren't able to play in Manitoba because of COVID-19 restrictions so they looked elsewhere as they set up shop in Fargo for the entire shortened season.
This season, the Goldeyes were once again unable to start their season in Winnipeg so they played their home games in Jackson, Tennessee. And while Winnipeg missed the playoffs this season, it was still a memorable one for a few reasons. First of all, the team was granted approval to return to Winnipeg as they played their final 20 home games of the season at Shaw Park. August 3, 2020, was Winnipeg's first home game since back on September 2 of 2019.
Steve Schuster is the Voice of the Goldeyes and after spending nearly two seasons on the road, he says returning home was a long time coming.
"To be able to do that for a month was extremely special," said Schuster. "I was really happy for the fans that had been waiting so long to watch Goldeyes baseball. And also players that have been with us for nearly two years, but they hadn't had the chance to feel the electricity of Shaw Park."
Steve joined the Goldeyes in 2014 after spending the previous five years with the Wichita Wingnuts who are also a member of the American Association. He also interned with the Lincoln Saltdogs in 2007.
Taking over for Paul Edmonds who is now the Voice of the Winnipeg Jets, Schuster has fallen in love with Winnipeg and he says making the decision to join the team was one of the best that he's ever made.
In a season where Kyle Martin led the league with 106 runs-batted-in which is the most in a single season in AA history, Schuster also entered the history books. When the Goldeyes played the Chicago Dogs on August 31, Schuster was behind the mic for his 1,382nd game. That total is the most in American Association history.
"Just really appreciative of everyone that has tuned in over the years," ended Schuster. "I try to do my best broadcast each night and my goal is to leave everything out there. I'm looking forward to continuing to do what I love for many years to come."